Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Playing D&D with Six Year Olds

“Daddy, we have to play Dungeons & Dragons.”

“It’s seven o’clock and you didn’t have a nap today. I don’t think it can work…”

“But I want to go to the giant crevice in the Pit of Despair; it won’t take long; we really don’t have to play that long; I have to take my magic wand to that crevice and then I’ll go to bed.”

“Uh…”

“Please…? We don’t have to play long– just a little bit.”

“Okay, let’s do it.”

“Get the box.”

“Okay.”

“And the rules!”

“I’m getting them.”

“And the character sheets.”

“Right!”

“And the miniatures.”

“Okay. I’ve got everything. Here’s the sheets for Pink Girl, Pinkie, and Gandalf the Huge Person.”

“How many men-at-arms do I get this time?”

“I don’t know… uh… maybe… five?”

“Ten!”

“Ten… right. Okay, it’s ten.”

“And we have a giant cat with us.”

“A giant cat?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, you have a giant cat, too. Here’s a map of the crater area. You leave the road here and come to the edge. Which entrance do you want to go to?”

“The one we did last time.”

“Right, okay. That’d be this one here then. You enter the tunnel after a hundred yards or so, it branches. There’s a breezy passage to the east and a dank passage to the southwest. Which way do you go?”

“I go to the crevice.”

“Yeah, but do you take the breezy passage or the dank passage?”

“I go back to the crevice!”

“Oh. Right… uh… okay… you take the dank passage then. You pass a musty passage to the west– it’s where you defeated the purple worm and found the magic wand before. You arrive at the crevice. It is a gaping maw of horrible darkness. You can see the passage continue on the other side of it, though. Your torches flicker. What do you do?”

“I wave the magic wand at the crevice.”

“You hear a thunderous cacophony of dozens of chords and see a swirl of colors. There is a flash of ozone and when you look… you see a rainbow bridge spanning the crevice. Each plank of the bridge is a different color. What do you do?”

“I send a man-at-arms to the other side.”

“Okay, he crosses the bridge, turns and waves at you. He calls out to you and says everything is fine.”

“I send another man-at-arms to the other side.”

“Okay, he crosses the bridge, turns and waves at you. He stands next to the other man-at-arms and calls out to you to say that everything is fine.”

(Later….)

“I send Pink-Girl across the bridge now.”

“Okay, the giant cat follows Pink-Girl across the bridge.”

“But the cat can’t fit! He’s huge!”

“No, the bridge is very large and the ceiling is very high. He can fit. Everyone is on the other side now. The passage leads off into the dark to the south. What do you do?”

“How far does the passage go?”

“You can’t tell. It keeps going all the way to the very edge of your torchlight.”

“I send a man-at-arms to see what’s down there.”

“A man-at-arms takes a torch in one hand and a sword in the other and he disappears into the darkness. He’s gone a long time. After a while, you see a light in the distance. It grows larger until you see the man-at-arms. He’s back. He says he found a door.”

“I send another man-at-arms with him and I tell them to go open the door.”

“The two men-at-arms disappear into the darkness. They are gone a long time. After a while, you see two lights in the distance. They grow until you see the two men-at-arms. They are back. They say there is a staircase on the other side of the door.”

“I send another man-at-arms with them and I tell them to go down the stairs.”

“What are they supposed to do when they get to the bottom?”

“They just do what they do.”

“Okay. The three men-at-arms disappear into the darkness. They are gone a long time. They are gone a longer time. One hour passes. Two hours pass. Three hours pass. What do you do…?”

“I send another man-at-arms to get them.”

“Okay. The man-at-arms disappears–”

“No wait! We give him good armor.”

“Okay.”

“And we give him a torch and a sword and a potion of healing and a potion of gaseous form and a potion of giant strength.”

“Okay. The man-at-arms disappears into the darkness. He is gone a long time. He is gone a longer time. One hour passes. Two hours pass. You see four lights in the distance. They grow until you see the four men-at-arms. They are back. They all have huge sacks of treasure. The men-at-arms say there was tons of treasure at the foot of the stairs. They say there was just a sign there that said not to take it out of the tunnel. What do you do now?”

“We go back across the bridge and leave the tunnel and go outside and we go back to town and we get a plane and we bomb the Pit of Despair.”

“Wait…”

“We get twenty-two bombs and we bomb the Pit of Despair. We blow it up.”

“But…”

“We take the treasure to town and then we get a plane and we drop fifty bombs of the Pit of Despair!”

“But… that’s not how it works.”

“And it explodes and there’s fire everywhere!”

“Look, you get to tell me what you do, but I’m the one that tells what happens.”

“But the bomb…!”

“No, there’s no bomb, yet. You’re at the bridge. You have sacks full of treasure. There was a sign at the bottom of the stairs that said not to take it out of the tunnels. What do you do? What’s the first thing that you do?”

“We cross the bridge.”

“Okay, you’re all crossing the bridge together?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, you start to cross the bridge and you get to the middle of the bridge and you hear a rumbling sound. The bridge starts to shake.”

“LET’S STOP THERE.”

(later)

“Wow, you were playing really well. You picked such a good place to stop, too.”

“It was getting too scary.”

(later still)

“The cat, daddy.”

“What?”

“We could all ride on the cat!”

“Ah, yes. I bet you could….”

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3 responses to “Playing D&D with Six Year Olds

  1. Old School Gamer Dad April 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Spot on, my friend. Spot.On!

  2. Brendan April 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  3. Pingback: Playing Labyrinth Lord with Seven-Year-Olds « Jeffro’s Car Wars Blog

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